Dear Pre-Program Me…

As the semester comes to a close, it is amazing to reflect on how much I have learned over the past few months. I have gained so much insight into studying abroad, living in London, and working as an international marketing intern. If I had the ability to share any information with my pre-program self, this is what I would say:

Hi, Liv. Before we talk about anything else, you should unpack about one third of your luggage… you won’t end up needing it, plus you will want to have some room for items purchased while abroad. You might want to throw in the Converse you thought you wouldn’t want, though, because you’ll end up wishing you had them! Nice job remembering the umbrella.

Get ready for an unbelievable semester. Something you will deeply appreciate about your time in London will be living with Steph, and the new friendships you both will make with other students. You will especially love all of the exploration you have done around London, and your trips to Ireland and France. It was smart to stay in London most weekends in order to appreciate the city… but I would recommend that you try to seize just a bit more of every day. The last few weeks of the semester will go by in a blur. All of a sudden, you will have no time left.

Although I am very grateful for the friends I have made on this program, something that I wish I knew ahead of time is that I’ll be studying with solely American students. Because of this, you should dedicate more time to going to the University of London’s Student Central and trying to meet students from other places. Your best place for regular interaction with non-Americans will end up being your internship with Sunnylife UK. You should be excited for this! You end up having a wonderful semester as a marketing intern, and will also learn a lot about other cultures from your coworkers. You will have colleagues from England, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Russia, and Germany.

Here are some goals I would recommend you set for us on this program: first, make an effort to get out of bed by 9AM on weekends. I know from experience that it will be tempting to take advantage of the opportunities to sleep in. You’re going to be in London! That lazy time in the mornings can be spent much more effectively, whether you’re venturing to a new area or getting ahead on schoolwork. Second, try to do some more research about Brexit. Although you’ll learn a great deal from living in the country and from discussions in class and at work, it would be beneficial to have a truly have a comprehensive understanding of British politics. Third, make it a focus to document your semester enough so that you can remember your time in London. Keeping a daily journal or ticket stub scrapbook are great ideas. Finally, pace yourself and your responsibilities so that you can have a stress-free, enjoyable semester. 

You’ll have a brilliant time!